DAR File No. 38849

This rule was published in the October 1, 2014, issue (Vol. 2014, No. 19) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources

Rule R657-10

Taking Cougar

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 38849
Filed: 09/09/2014 08:48:02 AM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule is being amended pursuant to Regional Advisory Council and Wildlife Board meetings conducted annually for taking public input and reviewing the division's cougar program.

Summary of the rule or change:

The proposed revision: 1) removes reference to "Cougar Management Area" as it pertains to this rule; 2) revises firearms language to include crossbows and to be consistent with other rules; and 3) allows the use of a cougar permit if purchased after the season begins to become valid in three days instead of seven days.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 23-14-19
  • Section 23-14-18

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This amendment removes a definition as well as revises firearms language to be consistent with other rules. The addition of three days instead of seven days for the use of a cougar permit can be handled with current staff and programs, therefore, the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) determines that these amendments do not create a cost or savings impact to the state budget, since the changes will not increase workload and can be carried out with existing budget.

local governments:

Since this amendment only clarifies an already existing stipulation this should have no effect on local government. This filing does not create any direct cost or savings impact to local governments because they are not directly affected by the rule. Nor are local governments indirectly impacted because the rule does not create a situation requiring services from local governments.

small businesses:

None--The amendments do not impose any additional requirements on other persons, nor generate a cost or savings impact to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

None--The amendments do not impose any additional requirements on other persons, nor generate a cost or savings impact to other persons.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

DWR determines that these amendments will not create additional costs for sportsmen wishing to hunt cougar in Utah. Therefore, the rule amendments do not create a cost or savings impact to individuals who participate in hunting cougar.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

The amendments to this rule do not create an impact on businesses.

Michael R. Styler, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Natural Resources
Wildlife Resources
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3154

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Staci Coons at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4718, by FAX at 801-538-4709, or by Internet E-mail at stacicoons@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Gregory Sheehan, Director


R657. Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources.

R657-10. Taking Cougar.

R657-10-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) Under authority of Sections 23-14-18 and 23-14-19 of the Utah Code, the Wildlife Board has established this rule for taking and pursuing cougar.

(2) Specific dates, areas, number of permits, limits, and other administrative details which may change annually are published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking cougar.


R657-10-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.

(2) In addition:

(a) "Canned hunt" means that a cougar is treed, cornered, held at bay or its ability to escape is otherwise restricted for the purpose of allowing a person who was not a member of the initial hunting party to arrive and take the cougar.

(b) "Compensation" means anything of economic value in excess of $100 that is paid, loaned, granted, given, donated, or transferred to a dog handler for or in consideration of pursuing cougar for any purpose.

(c) "Cougar" means Puma concolor, commonly known as mountain lion, lion, puma, panther or catamount.

(d) "Cougar pursuit permit" means a permit that authorizes a person to pursue cougar during designated seasons.

(e[) "Cougar Management Area" means a group of units under the same cougar harvest quota.

(f]) "Dog handler" means the person in the field that is responsible for transporting, releasing, tracking, controlling, managing, training, commanding and retrieving the dogs involved in the pursuit. The owner of the dogs is presumed the dog handler when the owner is in the field during pursuit.

([g]f) "Evidence of sex" means the sex organs of a cougar, including a penis, scrotum or vulva.

([h]g) "Green pelt" means the untanned hide or skin of any cougar.

([i]h) "Harvest-objective hunt" means any hunt that is identified as harvest-objective in the hunt table of the guidebook for taking cougar.

([j]i) "Harvest-objective permit" means any permit valid on harvest-objective units, including limited-entry permits for split units after the split-unit transition date.

([k]j) "Immediate family member" means a livestock owner's spouse, child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepchild and grandchild.

([l]k) "Kitten" means a cougar less than one year of age.

([m]l) "Kitten with spots" means a cougar that has obvious spots on its sides or its back.

([n]m) "Limited entry hunt" means any hunt listed in the hunt tables of the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking cougar, which is identified as limited entry and does not include harvest objective hunts.

([o]n) "Limited entry permit" means any permit obtained for a limited entry hunt by any means, including conservation permits and sportsman permits.

([p]o) "Private lands" means any lands that are not public lands, excluding Indian trust lands.

([q]p) "Public lands" means any lands owned by the state, a political subdivision or independent entity of the state, or the United States, excluding Indian trust lands, that are open to the public for purposes of engaging in pursuit.

([r]q) "Pursue" means to chase, tree, corner or hold a cougar at bay.

([s]r) "Split unit" means a cougar hunting unit that begins as a limited entry unit then transitions into a harvest objective unit.

([t]s) "Waiting period" means a specified period of time that a person who has obtained a cougar permit must wait before applying for any other cougar permit.

([u]t) "Written permission" means written authorization from the owner or person in charge to enter upon private lands and must include:

(i) the name and signature of the owner or person in charge;

(ii) the address and phone number of the owner or person in charge;

(iii) the name of the dog handler given permission to enter the private lands;

(iv) a brief description of the pursuit activity authorized;

(v) the appropriate dates; and

(vi) a general description of the property.


R657-10-3. Permits for Taking Cougar.

(1)(a) To harvest a cougar, a person must first obtain a valid limited entry cougar permit or a harvest objective cougar permit for the specified management units as provided in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking cougar.

(b) Any person who obtains a limited entry cougar permit or a harvest objective cougar permit may pursue cougar on the unit for which the permit is valid.

(2) A person may not apply for or obtain more than one cougar permit for the same season, except:

(a) as provided in Subsection R657-10-25(3); or

(b) if the person is unsuccessful in the limited entry drawing, the person may purchase a harvest objective permit.

(3) Any cougar permit purchased after the season opens is not valid until [seven]three days after the date of purchase.

(4) To obtain a cougar limited entry permit, harvest objective permit, or pursuit permit, a person must possess a Utah hunting or combination license.


R657-10-4. Permits for Pursuing Cougar.

(1)(a) To pursue cougar without a limited entry cougar permit, the dog handler must:

(i) obtain a valid cougar pursuit permit from a division office; or

(ii) possess the documentation and certifications required in R657-10-25(2) to pursue cougar for compensation.

(b) A cougar pursuit permit or exemption [therefrom]there from does not allow a person to kill a cougar.

(2) Residents and nonresidents may purchase cougar pursuit permits consistent with the requirements of this rule and the guidebooks of the Wildlife Board.

(3) To obtain a cougar pursuit permit, a person must possess a Utah hunting or combination license.


R657-10-8. State Parks.

(1) Hunting of any wildlife is prohibited within the boundaries of all state park areas except those designated by the Division of Parks and Recreation in Section R651-614-4.

(2) Hunting with a rifle, handgun or muzzleloader in park areas designated open is prohibited within one mile of all park facilities including buildings, camp or picnic sites, overlooks, golf courses, boat ramps and developed beaches.

(3) Hunting with shotguns , crossbows and archery tackle is prohibited within one quarter mile of the above stated areas.


R657-10-27. Harvest Objective General Information.

(1) Harvest objective permits are valid only for the open harvest objective management units and for the specified seasons published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking cougar.

(2) Harvest objective permits are not valid in a specified management unit after the harvest objective has been met for that [specified Cougar Management Area]unit.


R657-10-29. Harvest Objective Unit Closures.

(1) To hunt in a harvest objective unit, a hunter must call 1-888-668-LION or visit the division's website to verify that the [cougar management area]harvest objective unit is still open. The phone line and website will be updated each day by 12 noon. Updates become effective the following day thirty minutes before official sunrise.

(2) Harvest objective units are open to hunting until:

(a) the [cougar]quota for that harvest objective [for that cougar management area]unit is met and the division closes the [area]unit; or

(b) the end of the hunting season as provided in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking cougar.

(3) Upon closure of a harvest objective unit, a hunter may not take or pursue cougar except as provided in Section R657-10-25.


KEY: wildlife, cougar, game laws

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [March 11, ]2014

Notice of Continuation: August 16, 2011

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 23-14-18; 23-14-19


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2014/b20141001.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Staci Coons at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4718, by FAX at 801-538-4709, or by Internet E-mail at stacicoons@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.